For the last 15 years I have regularly given talks on space and astronomy to societies, clubs, schools and festivals including Morecambe Fringe and Brighton Fringe. For a number of years was a planetarium presenter at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, latterly in the Peter Harrison Planetarium. I am also a contributor to the Ringmind project which has been exhibited in Life Forms in Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, the Festival of Noises, Barrow, and Lightup Lancaster.
To book me to give a talk please use the contact form at the bottom of this page. For small societies and charities I only charge travel/other reasonable expenses.
Exploring the Solar System with Robots
Images of space are everywhere. New discoveries are being made each year about planets, galaxies, and the early Universe and many of these discoveries are made using robotic spacecraft sent out into the Solar System. This technology also allows us to WhatsApp each other across the world, navigate around the world with GPS, and spy on each other. But how do spacecraft work? Do modern satellites have anything in common with the very first artificial satellites? What happens when they breakdown or get themselves into trouble? In this talk I trace the robotic exploration of our Solar System from Mariner 2’s pioneering trip to Venus in 1962 to the modern day.
The Plumes of Enceladus
One of the outstanding discoveries of the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and it’s largest moon Titan was the discovery of plumes – geysers – of water, snowflakes, hail and other chemicals erupting from south pole of Saturn’s tiny moon Enceladus.
In this talk I describe the Cassini-Huygens mission and then focus on how the discovery was made and what it tells us about the story of this moon and about giant planets in general.
Fly Me To The Moon
It’s been almost 50 years since humans last walked on the Moon, but how did we get there in the first place? What was the science and engineering that put us on the Moon? Who were the people in the background who helped achieve this? In this talk I look at the science of putting humans on another world.
The JUICE mission to Jupiter and Ganymede
In 2023 the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer – JUICE – mission will be launched to Jupiter. After arriving at Jupiter the mission will explore Jupiter’s planetary system and then will go into around around Jupiter’s largest moon Ganymede, the largest moon in the Solar System. In this talk we will look at what we might find out at Jupiter and Ganymede and the challenges of launching a spacecraft to Jupiter.